Behind the scenes with Gilberto Calzolari


We caught up with the sustainable design star as he styled The Bicester Village Shopping Collection’s summer campaign shoot

After winning last year’s Franca Sozzani Green Carpet Challenge Award for Best Emerging Designer, Gilberto Calzolari (@GilbertoCalzolari_official) has amassed a wealth of experience in the fashion industry. From presenting at Milan Fashion Week 2019 to networking with the likes of Rossano Orlandi and Edward Enninful, Gilberto’s red carpet credentials are world-class. We asked him how life had changed since being handed that handmade Chopard statuette…


Firstly, we’re thrilled you’re styling our Summer Stories shoot. What has been the best part about working on this campaign? 


“I particularly enjoyed the energy and atmosphere on the set – all thanks to the chemistry and great relationships we built with the whole team and crew. I have to say that it helped to be immersed in the wonderful set decorations by Anna Burns.”


We’ve included festival looks, summer occasion wear and holiday style in this campaign. What inspired your styling for each? 


“For the festival looks we decided to give them a retro 70s touch – a bit of a rock attitude à la Kate Moss – whereas we used the 80s as inspiration for occasion wear. For that we revisited the atmosphere of 80’s prom nights, with a classy and eccentric touch. For the holiday and travel outfits you can see references to 50’s pin-up girls. We also played with nautical stripes, floral motives and vibrant colour-blocks.”


So, how did it feel to be crowned Best Emerging Designer at the Green Carpet Fashion Awards? 


“I can hardly express what it meant! Ethics and aesthetics have always been my core values, and to see this effort appreciated by a judging panel of that level was another incentive to continue to design sustainably.”


You were awarded The Bicester Village Shopping Collection mentorship programme as a result of winning the Green Carpet competition. What have you enjoyed most about your time on the programme? 


“With sessions on everything from business plans to marketing and retail, the mentorship programme has truly been one of the greatest aspects of winning the competition. It has also been a great opportunity to meet a network of companies that believe in sustainable fashion. Finally, it’s because of the mentorship that I had this wonderful styling experience for the summer campaign.”


You showcased your work in The Creative Spot boutique at Fidenza Village in Italy this summer. Which pieces were you excited to share? 


“Since we’re in full summer mode I decided to showcase key items of my latest spring-summer collection, in particular the ‘green’ outfits. Along with a line that uses recycled jute coffee bags embroidered with lead-free Swarovski crystals – available made to measure – I'm also presenting a number of items made from cupro linen, which is one of the purest cellulose fibres found in nature. The cotton waste is dissolved and extruded to create a very fine thread and the resulting material offers comfort, ventilation and resilience, as well as being extremely delicate, hypoallergenic, non-toxic and 100% recyclable.”


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“Ethics and aesthetics have always been my core values, and to see this effort appreciated by a judging panel of that level was another incentive to continue to design sustainably”